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Greater Manchester Clean Bus Fund application process


The original Greater Manchester (GM) Clean Air Plan included a GM-wide category C charging Clean Air Zone. Only the most polluting vehicles which don't meet emission standards would have been charged to drive in the Zone.

The Clean Air Zone was designed to comply with a legal direction from government issued before the coronavirus pandemic. Since then there have been significant vehicle supply chain issues, particularly for vans, and the cost of living has increased.

This means that the original Clean Air Plan was unworkable. It would not have met the obligations in the direction to achieve compliance with the legal limit for harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) air pollution by 2024 and could have caused significant financial hardship for people affected.

Government has now agreed to lift the legal direction that GM should achieve compliance with legal NO₂ limits by 2024. It has issued a new direction for compliance in the shortest possible time and by no later than 2026.

GM has secured £120m in government funding to help eligible owners of vehicles which would be non-compliant in a Clean Air Zone upgrade to compliant vehicles. Government has said this funding will continue to be available for the new Clean Air Plan.  Of this, GM has £14.7m of funding to retrofit buses running services in Greater Manchester and a further £3.2m of funding to support the replacement of vehicles that cannot be retrofitted for small and medium sized operators.

To achieve this, TfGM, on behalf of the 10 Greater Manchester Authorities, is offering grants of up to £16,000 for operators of locally registered bus services, including minibuses and coaches, to support the retrofit or replacement of non-compliant vehicles.  This includes cross-boundary services operating within the Greater Manchester CAZ boundary, who can apply to the Funds, including if the vehicle(s) is registered outside of Greater Manchester. The numbers of eligible vehicles on cross-boundary services should already be agreed with operators.